Card showdown: Amex Business Gold vs. Amex Business Platinum
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
In the American Express lineup of small-business cards, the American Express® Business Gold Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are two popular offerings. Both are well known but have been refreshed to stay competitive in the marketplace for small-business rewards cards in recent years.
But just like their consumer counterparts, these two cards are each geared toward cardholders with different goals and needs.
With the Amex Business Gold Card, you’ll now earn 70,000 points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership, while the Amex Business Platinum Card awards new applicants a staggering 120,000 points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.
So, with two great offers, which one might be a better fit for your business needs?
Let’s take a look at these cards and see which card works best.
New to The Points Guy? Sign up for our daily newsletter.
Benefits common to both cards
As premium travel rewards cards, both come with many of the same features, including:
- Membership Rewards points — Membership Rewards points can be transferred to miles with 18 airlines and three hotel loyalty programs. When used in this manner, points are worth 2 cents each, according to TPG’s latest monthly valuations.
- Purchase protection* — Your eligible purchases are covered against accidental damage or theft for 90 days for up to $1,000 per incident with the Business Gold and up to $10,000 per incident with the Business Platinum up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. However, coverage related to natural disasters is limited to $500 per incident. (Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.)
- Extended warranty* — Your purchases receive up to one additional year of warranty service on purchases with warranties of five years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. (Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.)
- Baggage insurance* — Business Gold cardholders receive up to $500 worth of insurance for damaged, stolen or lost checked bags ($1,250 for carry-ons). In comparison, Business Platinum cardholders receive up to $2,000 for checked bags ($3,000 for carry-ons) when traveling on any common carrier such as aircraft, trains, ships or buses. You must pay for the full fare using the card — just paying taxes and fees on an award ticket doesn’t count — and there’s a $1,000 cap ($250 for the Business Gold) for high-risk items. (Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.)
- Account manager — This service lets you easily designate employees or other individuals who can manage your account with either full or limited access, making it easier to delegate tasks like reviewing statements, adding authorized users, making payments and disputing charges.
- American Express Business App — This tool allows you to manage expenses from your desktop or mobile device by entering receipts, tagging transactions and adding notes to your statements. You can also sync this data with QuickBooks.
- Employee card features —To help you earn rewards from your employees’ spending while mitigating the risk of fraudulent transactions, Amex small-business cards allow you to limit authorized cardholders’ purchases and set real-time alerts.
- No foreign transaction fees — Both the Amex Business Gold (see rates and fees) and the Business Platinum (see rates and fees) waive foreign transaction fees when you use your card abroad.
- Metal card — Both the Business Gold and the Business Platinum feature heavy metal cards.
- Pay Over Time — These cards have no preset spending limit. You can, however, use Amex’s Pay Over Time feature to extend payment on certain purchases.
* Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
American Express Business Gold Card overview
Current welcome offer
Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Earn 4 points per dollar spent — an 8% return based on TPG’s valuations — on your first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then 1 point per dollar) from two of the following six categories where your company spent the most each billing cycle:
- U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines.
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio).
- U.S. gas stations (not including supermarkets or warehouse stores).
- U.S. shipping.
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions.
Amex will automatically calculate which categories you spend the most in each month to award your 4 points per dollar. You then earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases, with no limits.
- Pay with Points rebate — You’ll get 25% of your points back when you redeem points at Amex Travel to pay for first- or business-class airfare on any airline or economy class tickets with a carrier you can select each year. Award flights booked this way are treated as revenue tickets, so you’ll earn both redeemable miles and elite credit on them. Note that you must have the full number of required points in your account to book travel, and your rebate will be issued within six to 10 weeks. This rebate is capped at 250,000 points per calendar year.
- Trip delay insurance* — If you book a trip with your card, and it’s delayed by more than 12 hours for a covered reason, an eligible traveler can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses (including but not limited to meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items) up to $300 per covered trip. (Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.)
- Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance* — Cardmembers are covered for damage to or theft of a rental car when using your card to reserve and pay for the rental (you must decline the rental company's collision damage waiver). This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage, and not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. (Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.)
- Pay Over Time — Business Gold cardmembers are automatically enrolled in the Pay Over Time program, which offers an extended payment option for eligible $100 or more purchases.
- Global Assist Hotline* — Get 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services, including medical, legal, and passport referrals, emergency cash wires, and missing luggage assistance while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Card members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
- Hotel Collection perks* — Get $100 of experience credit that can be used on qualifying dining and resort activities when booking a stay of two or more nights at a participating hotel from The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. You can also receive a complimentary room upgrade, if available, though not all categories are eligible.
* Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
See our full card review for more details.
Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees).
Official application link: Amex Business Gold Card
The Business Platinum Card from American Express overview
Official application link: Amex Business Platinum Card
Which card should you get?
Ultimately, the best choice comes down to what you’re looking for in a card.
The two cards are geared toward different types of small-business needs. The Amex Business Platinum is great for frequent travelers and those looking for a card to give them perks and benefits that enhance their experience when on the road. On the other hand, the Amex Business Gold is better for small-business owners who want to earn maximum points on everyday business spending across a wide variety of categories.
The case for the Business Platinum Card
The Amex Business Platinum is certainly the more luxurious of the two cards, offering a more extensive list of benefits and credits to offset the annual fee.
The Business Platinum’s 120,000-point welcome offer dwarfs the 70,000 points being offered by the Amex Business Gold for new cardholders. Based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, that 120,000-point welcome offer is worth a whopping $2,400. Plus, you’ll likely get value from the other benefits exclusive to the Business Platinum card.
These benefits include Marriott and Hilton elite status, an array of airport lounge access and more. These perks will usually deliver more than enough value for most business travelers to justify the Business Platinum card’s $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).
The case for the Business Gold Card
Would I always recommend the Business Platinum card over the Business Gold Card? Of course not.
The Business Platinum card offers excellent perks, but if you’re likely to not make use of all those included benefits, then the Business Gold Card is worth a closer look — and it can offer notable earning potential.
While the Amex Business Platinum is superior when it comes to perks and benefits, the Amex Business Gold outshines the Platinum when earning bonus points on spending categories. There are plenty of small-business owners who can use the bonus categories, and the $150,000 annual cap (of combined purchases) is very generous.
If you get anywhere close to maximizing those bonuses, the value of the points you earn will dwarf the Business Gold card’s $295 annual fee (see rates and fees). Indeed, if you spend $150,000 in those categories, you’ll earn 600,000 Membership Rewards points, which TPG values at $12,000.
Each of these business cards from American Express could be a good fit for your needs. However, depending on the size and nature of your company, you might even consider getting both cards: Carry the Business Gold when you can maximize the card's bonus categories, and keep a Business Platinum to enjoy benefits like Centurion Lounge access, rental car elite status and the higher (35%) rebate on points redeemed for airfare through Amex Travel.
By examining your business needs, you can choose the best combination of cards to maximize your award travel possibilities.
Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson and Christina Ly.